Umbra Fisk

Ask Umbra®

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Umbra Fisk is Grist Research Associate II, Hardcover and Periodicals Unit, floors 2B-4B.

Hot Water

How can I tell my roommate he takes too many showers?

A reader in California wants to berate his roommate over water usage, but advice maven Umbra Fisk says cooler heads should prevail.

Burning Question

Can you grow pot with LED lights?

With recent reports emphasizing the energy-sucking nature of the weed industry, a reader from Michigan wonders if LEDs could save the day.

Soil and Trouble

Are plastic soil beads safe for my plants?

A reader in Ontario wonders if plastic soil beads are safe for her plants, and advice maven Umbra Fisk digs in.

Seal or No Seal

Can I reseal my deck without hurting the local waterway?

A reader who lives near Puget Sound wonders how he can tackle a home improvement project with a clean conscience. Advice maven Umbra Fisk lays it on thick.

A Tine to Remember

Which disposable utensils are lightest on the land?

A piercing question from Saskatoon: Which disposable utensils have the least impact? Advice maven Umbra Fisk sets the table with an answer you "woodn't" believe.

Lullaby and Good Fright

What kind of mattress is best for my baby?

When an expectant mother from St. Louis wonders what kind of mattress is best for baby, advice maven Umbra Fisk spits up a few suggestions.

A Pesc-y Question

I’ve stopped eating fish, but should I feed it to my kid?

Seafood has its share of baggage, from overfishing to mercury -- does that outweigh the nutritional benefits? Reel talk from advice maven Umbra Fisk.

Oolong Time Coming

If you don’t talk to your co-workers about tea-kettle use, who will?

When a writer from Vermont finds herself in a tea-obsessed office, she wonders which water-heating method is the most energy-efficient. In response, advice maven Umbra Fisk thinks steep thoughts.

Induction Deduction

Which type of stovetop is the most energy-efficient?

Which stovetop is most efficient, a reader from B.C. wonders -- and advice maven Ask Umbra cranks up an answer.